Delicata squash tastes like a pumpkin and a butternut squash had a baby. HA! When you roast delicate squash, it caramelizes and the skin gets a bit crispy. It’s sweet but not too sweet and so delicious.
This side dish or appetizer is autumn in a bowl and will definitely be part of my Thanksgiving spread this year! Beautiful little delicata squash half-moons are tossed with crispy pancetta and shallots, a generous amount of garlic and sage, and finally garnished with salty parmesan shavings.
Mix in some pasta to turn this side dish into a full, yummy fall-time meal!
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Makes: a generous side dish for 2 people
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
2 delicata squashes
4 ounces diced pancetta
2 large shallots, cut into thin rings
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 small handful sage leaves (the small leaves are most tender!)
Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes
Parmigiano-reggiano shavings (or regular parmesan), to garnish
Extra virgin olive oil
Optional: for a full meal over a side dish or appetizer, add pasta (i.e. penne or farfalle!)
To prepare squash: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut the ends off the squash, and then cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to hollow out the squash and remove the seeds. Place the squash halves cut-side down on the cutting board. Cut the squash in roughly ½ inch half-moon-shaped slices.
To roast squash and shallots: On a baking sheet (I line the sheet with foil for easier cleanup), spread out squash in a single layer. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes. While squash is roasting, cut shallots into thin rings. After squash has roasted for 15 minutes, sprinkle shallots onto squash, using a large spoon to mix together squash and shallots. Roast squash and shallots for 16-18 more minutes until most pieces of squash are dark golden brown.
To prepare pancetta and garlic: While squash and shallots are roasting, in a medium dry pan, add pancetta and cook over medium heat until crispy. Add garlic and sweat for 2 minutes. Turn heat off.
To assemble: Add squash and shallots to garlic and pancetta mixture, gently tossing. Add sage leaves, crushed red pepper to taste, and additionally olive oil if mixture looks dry.
Serve in small bowls or in a larger sharing bowl. Use a vegetable peeler to shave parm over the top of the dish. Fall in a bowl!
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